Companies House is the United Kingdom's registrar of companies and is an executive agency and trading fund of Her Majesty's Government. It falls under the remit of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is also a member of the Public Data Group. All forms of companies are incorporated and registered with Companies House and file specific details as required by the current Companies Act 2006. All registered limited companies, including subsidiary, small and inactive companies, must file annual financial statements in addition to annual company returns, which are all public records. Only some registered unlimited companies are exempt from this requirement.The United Kingdom has had a system of company registration since 1844. The legislation governing company registration matters is the Companies Act 2006. Wikipedia.
Companies House | Date: 2016-01-06
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News Article | January 21, 2015
Apple has acquired London-based music analytics company Semetric, according to a report citing legal documents filed with the Companies House in the UK in January. The purchase appears to be designed to bolster Apple's Beats streaming music service, which the company reportedly plans to relaunch this year. Semetric appointed a new director, Gene Daniel Levoff, a former director of Apple Operations International, according to the Music Ally report. It also changed its registered address to the address of Apple Europe Limited. Apple declined to comment on the acquisition, and the financial terms of the deal have not been publicly disclosed. Semetric's main product is Musicmetric software, which it launched in 2008. The software offers data analysis on music artists, pulling data from social media as well as video and audio sharing sites, blogs and other sources. The service claims it tracks more than 800,000 international artists; Semetric, on the other hand, has expanded its platform into tracking film, games and TV, but its core product remains music. Apple owns two music businesses, iTunes and Beats Music, so Semetric's music data analysis platform makes sense both for advertisers and to reassure labels and artists that the streaming service boosts sales and online interactions. Musicmetric also tracks streaming data, which may be revelant to Apple's rumored plans to relaunch Beats Music. Beats Music is poised as a competitor to Spotify, which partnered with Musicmetric in January 2013. Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
News Article | October 10, 2011
Accounts filed with Companies House show the likely reason Spotify wanted to break America so badly. Last year, the music service’s revenue exploded by 458 percent, but its income was more than swallowed up by growing outgoings. So Spotify finished 2010 with a deeper annual loss of £26.5 ($41.46) million. “It is crucial that Spotify continues to penetrate existing and new markets as quickly as possible,” according to Spotify’s accounts filed at Companies House. 2010 was, however, the year when subscriptions (£45 ($70.4) million) began leaping ahead of advertising income (£18 ($28.16) million) for Spotify… These accounts, of course, are almost a year old. In 2011, Spotify tightened available free music and got the U.S. launch it wanted. Now its path to success looks far more likely. It now has over two million paying subscribers – more than any rival service. In fact, it looks like the scale that will come with U.S. launch is more needed than wanted. The company has now hired a U.S.-based partnerships GM, Clear Channel (OTCBB: CCMO) digital executive Gerrit Meier, likely to strike bundled carriage deals, AllThingsD reports. Spotify sent paidContent this statement about the financial year… “Since its launch in late 2008, Spotify has grown faster and become more popular than any other music subscription service of its kind, globally. “In 2010, we continued to grow our European user base, adding hundreds of thousands of paying subscribers, now representing a ratio of paid subscribers to active free users of over 15 percent, which is phenomenal for any ‘freemium’ business. “Product development remained a priority in 2010, with ongoing investment in innovation to offer our users the best music service possible and the biggest upgrade to Spotify since launch, including social features and the ability to combine local files with our own library of millions of tracks. “We continued to invest in international growth, laying the foundations for new market launches, most recently launching in the US in July of this year.”
News Article | April 1, 2012
Following on from the recent article published here on The Next Web about protecting your brand in the U.S, we thought you may like to get the low down on how to protect your brand in the UK. Branding can be about slogans, logos, product or service names, business names and even colours. For example, what world famous social network comes to mind when you see a certain tone of blue, and which well known VOIP service is instantly recognisable when by their use of a paler shade of blue? Branding can make up a significant proportion of value for a company on their balance sheet. Intangible assets such as your brand can be highly lucrative and are often built up over time by a business, through clever and consistent marketing campaigns and market reputation. If you and your business want to nurture a brand, you need to consider protecting it through use of trade marks and smart intellectual property management strategies. To that end, here is a low down on what you need to know about protecting your brand(s) in the UK via the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in a handy bite sized article. But before we get into the world of trade marks for brands, it’s important to note the need to register your company’s’ name. In the UK, when you wish to incorporate a limited company, you need to register your company name with Companies House. Once your application is approved, the company name is yours and yours alone. This means that no one else can register a limited company with an identical name. To find out more about the process and cost of registering a company name and for other related information, visit the Companies House website for details. To obtain a registered trade mark that offers brand name protection in the UK, you need to apply to Intellectual Property Office or, if you want Europe wide protection, at the Community Trade Marks Office also known as OHIM (based in Alicante, Spain). In the UK, trade marks can be words, phrase (slogans), symbols, sounds and logos (or a combination of any of these) that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of another. As mentioned earlier, trade marks can hold huge intangible value and therefore can be sold as corporate assets by a business at a later date if it so wanted to. There’s no legal requirement that forces you to trade mark your business or brand name (logo). In fact, you can have what are known as ‘common law’ rights to your business name without formally registering it. Of course, trade mark law is complex and just using the words or registering a company at Companies House, or printing out business cards doesn’t automatically grant you common law rights. In general, in order to submit a claim against someone else for using an unregistered trade mark (known as ‘passing off’), you need to demonstrate the name, words or logo has reputation; there has been confusion in the marketplace and as a result, some harm has been done to that reputation. Not easy, and can be a costly and timely endeavour. You can learn more about trade marks and all other types of IP, at the IPO website. By registering for a trade mark, you’ll be eligible for several benefits, including: Like the previous article mentions about registering a trade mark in the U.S, we also recommend that you perform a FREE trade mark search to make sure your proposed mark is available. If the search does not bring back any marks that are the same of similar, then consider whether the trade mark is distinctive. Why? So for example if your name describes what you do, consists of just your geographical location, is a laudatory word (think long lasting for batteries!), then your trade mark application might be rejected right away ⎯ meaning you’ll lose your application fee and all the time invested in the application. As for fees, it’s as little as £170 (for online filing) for one class that your trade mark falls under (add £50 for each additional class), and the process can take anywhere from 4-8 months once you submit your application. Incase your wondering, a ‘class’ of goods relates to the groups of products or services trade marks are set in. This means that if you want to register the trade mark ‘The Web After Next’ in Class 42 – Computing, but Mr T N Web has already registered the same mark in Class 25 – clothing and Footwear, you may still be able to register it. If you think you need advice on how to secure a trade mark, try finding and using a trade mark attorney via the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA), or speak to a solicitor found via the Law Society. While this process is more involved than registering a company name at Companies House, rights to your brand will be much stronger and this can save you a ton in legal fees later down the road. It can also bring about range of business opportunities and value to your balance sheet. If you are looking for more advice and support on brands and trade marks, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and Companies House are running a NEW series of FREE events across the UK this year. Starting in Liverpool on April 3, the ‘Get It Right – First Time’ half-day sessions will help you get to grips with trade marks and all other types of Intellectual Property (patents, designs, copyright). These seminars will also walk you through the responsibilities of a first time director including registering a company name with Companies House. The independent experts from the IPO and Companies House will be on hand to answer your questions as well. To find out more about these events, including how to register for your local event and which cities they can be found in – visit: www.ipo.gov.uk/getitright.
News Article | April 11, 2013
Want to see how open data translates into new business models? Look to the London-based fintech firm Duedil, which has just completed a $5 million Series A round of funding. Duedil is an aggregator and data visualization outfit that provides due diligence services through a freemium model. It focuses on private companies and it gets its information about them largely thanks to the U.K.’s open data policies, although it also buys data from sources such as Companies House and the Ministry of Justice (for county court judgement debt information). Quite neatly, users can also sync the service with their LinkedIn accounts, so they can perform due diligence on their contacts. The firm focuses on making this range of complex data — asset value, intellectual property records, turnover, litigation and health-and-safety violation records, director information — easier to intepret, and its customers range from corporate lawyers and venture capitalists to small businesses checking up on their suppliers. Seventy-five of the FTSE 100 companies are clients. Duedil has also notably been used in some of The Guardian‘s (see disclosure) data journalism efforts, such as its recent exposé on companies (and individuals) that ferret their money away in tax havens. The service is generally free to use, although company document downloads and credit reports need to be purchased through a pay-as-you-go system. In a couple of weeks, though, Duedil will launch subscription packages that come with varying quotas of these each month. The funding round was led by Notion Capital and Oak Investment Partners, with others such as Passion Capital and Spotify investor Shakil Khan also taking part. According to Duedil CEO Damian Kimmelman, the investment will be used to expand into new regions and hire more engineers and data scientists. It seems a happy coincidence that Duedil is planning to move into other European countries just as the governments of those countries have agreed to adopt open data policies. “The value lies in linking datasets from data providers, governments and businesses themselves into one place,” Duedil commercial officer Andrew Connolly told me. “There is quite a progressive culture here [in the UK] in terms of open data. European data is quite exciting for us – we’ll take data from wherever we can get it.” Duedil isn’t the only British company working in this field. Another interesting example is OpenCorporates, which is pulling in data from all over the world, but the difference there is that OpenCorporates is entirely focused on open data, whereas Duedil works with a mix of open/free and closed/paid-for, both in terms of the data coming in and the services going out. “They’ve been a great team in terms of making data easily accessible, but they have slightly different source feed,” Connolly said. “They want to give everything away for free. For us, we believe in open data but not all data should be open. A director might not be comfortable with his home address being open to the public.” As for expansion outside Europe, Connolly certainly sounded wary of the U.S. market, which he described as a “quagmire” due to the wide variety of jurisdictional regulations around private company data. Disclosure: The Guardian is an investor in Giga Omni Media, which publishes GigaOM.